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Responsibility Research and Development

Research and Development

About research and development

It is the way we learn about medicines: The research and development process is at the core of what we do. Working with independent health care professionals is essential to studying how medicines work, including designing and learning more about medicines and treatment approaches both before and after a medicine is approved for use by patients.

The goal is safety and effectiveness: These studies, which include carefully controlled clinical trials with real patients, are required to ensure medicines are safe, effective and meet the strict guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory authorities around the world.

Research is an ongoing process: Our work isn't done once a product is on the market. Health care professionals continue to perform crucial ongoing work monitoring the safety and efficacy of our medicines. In fact, we never stop monitoring the safety of our products even after generic versions become available.

Our research work with health care professionals includes two types of research:

  1. Pfizer-sponsored clinical research: This is conducted by health care professionals at academic medical centers, leading research universities, and other institutions.

    Elements of a study may include one or all of the following activities

    • Designing the study
    • Recruiting patient participants
    • Ensuring all the right safeguards and monitoring tests are in place
    • Monitoring patient progress
    • Publicly reporting findings
  2. Investigator-initiated research: Support in the form of research grants to an investigator, institution or organization (e.g., government agency) who will be the sponsor of a study that is designed for the development of specific and defined medical knowledge.

    The types of Investigator-initiated research can include:

    • Clinical studies of approved and unapproved uses, involving approved or unapproved Pfizer drugs
    • Observational studies, such as epidemiology studies and certain outcomes research studies where the primary focus is the scientific understanding of disease
    • Other types of independent research on disease states, including novel diagnostic screening tools and surveys where Pfizer has no direct commercial interest
    • In vitro or animal studies which include funding

How patients benefit

Studies help to determine the safety and effectiveness of new treatments: Through the careful study of medicines and other treatment approaches in patient volunteers, researchers are able to determine whether promising new treatments are safe and effective.

Studies help to determine safety and effectiveness of existing treatments: In addition, clinical studies provide valuable information to help researchers continually monitor the safety and effectiveness of treatments already available to patients. Pfizer posts trials and results online.

How researchers and institutions benefit

Your doctors have a chance to help improve patient care: Doing clinical studies is one of the most important ways to expand medical knowledge that benefits patients. By conducting studies and reporting the results, your doctors have an opportunity to share in improving health care for patients.

Your doctor's institution expands its research experience: Doing clinical studies also further enhances the institutions' experience in developing this research.

How Pfizer benefits

Sponsoring studies helps us to develop new treatments: As one of the world's largest sponsors of studies, Pfizer works to discover and develop innovative, safe, and effective ways to treat and prevent some of the world's most challenging diseases. This would not be possible without our research partnerships with health care professionals, which enable Pfizer to sponsor studies in patients and identify useful new medicines.

Sponsoring studies helps us to discover new uses for existing medicines: Our research partnerships with health care professionals also enable Pfizer to identify new uses for our existing medicines.

Policies that govern research and development

When working with health care professionals in conducting research, we have policies to guide how we:

  • Compensate investigators in clinical trials
  • Register studies, disclose results and work with authors
  • Support U.S. medical, scientific and patient organizations
Find more information elsewhere on

View the Payments Report

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